Climate Change is directly affecting people’s health and wellbeing, damaging cities and homes, displacing communities, and severely impacting liveability. Average temperatures are rising, causing acute and chronic hazards such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and rising sea levels to grow in frequency and severity. At least 85% of the world’s population has already been affected by climate change, with an estimate of 150,000 lives lost every year, expected to double by 2030.
By the end of this century, the world’s population is set to grow by 50%, an increase of 45 million people per year, and bringing the total global population to over 11.2 billion. The housing industries are facing extreme stresses to meet the demand of a rising population amidst climate change.
The world needs to build 2 billion new homes over the next 80 years, adding a city the size of Paris every week. Yet, over the last 20 years, housing affordability has become a growing crisis for a large portion of the world’s population, with 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing, of which 1 billion reside in slums and informal settlements. This is set to increase to an estimated 3 billion people living in slum conditions by 2050. Housing is of fundamental importance to human development, in addition to its role in identity and social belonging.
People are spending increasing quantities of time within buildings. Estimates suggest people spend about 90% of their time in buildings, with two thirds of that spent at home. Exposure to poor indoor air quality, toxic chemicals, biological contaminants and other pollutants pose a significant threat to occupant health and wellbeing, as well as to people throughout the supply chain. Air pollution is considered as one of the greatest environmental threats to human health, causing approximately 7 million deaths each year.
The building and construction supply chain represents one of the world’s largest industry sectors, and the creation of social value is fundamental. This means creating direct, positive impacts on people and communities by protecting human rights, dignity, and health and wellbeing, as well as committing to social justice and equity within the workforce. This includes indigenous rights, gender equality, diversity and inclusion in order to provide long term value to communities and improve local quality of life.